San Francisco area coastal wedding destinations

Marriage License

Getting the marriage license is one of the most important steps in your planning.

Before my husband and I finally decided that we’d had enough of the wedding planning and eloped, we checked into what is required to apply for a marriage license. We found a really helpful website,, that told us everything we really needed to know about each state’s laws to obtain a marriage license. The site gives you the fees and requirements as well as phone numbers and locations that you need to Inquiry. I was very happy to see that my state no longer requires a blood test. Needles don’t thrill me.

Before we got married, we lived together for 2 years. We had been a couple for 3 years prior to that and although my husband was the one who ultimately proposed, he didn’t see what the big deal was about being married. In his eyes, if we were committed to one another, we didn’t need a marriage license to prove that. In my opinion, that simple piece of paper was a huge deal and I was starting to really want to have one of those in my possession.

It wasn’t that I didn’t trust him or I thought he had plans to leave, but I wanted to know that we had taken that extra step. Once you’re married, it is not as easy to just split up. Sure, divorce makes it pretty easy these days and they can get quite nasty, but when you aren’t married, you can just announce your "break up" and walk away. At least when you’re married, you should have a stronger sense of commitment and work harder to maintain it. At least, that’s the ideal thing to do. To many people nowadays, that marriage license doesn’t mean anything to them. I find that very sad and heartbreaking. I’m not getting married to get divorced. If I had any doubts of my chosen partner, a marriage license would not even exist. I wouldn’t take that huge step if I didn’t want to work to maintain its meaning.

We ended up eloping to Jamaica simply because the wedding plans were starting to become more of a nuisance than a joy and the costs were starting to scare us entirely too much. We married on the beach in Jamaica and came home with a marriage license that had cost us quite a bit less than it would have in our hometown. Do I suggest eloping? Of course not. I’m simply saying that eloping saved us quite a bit of grief and money and we still ended up having that marriage license in our hands. I’m not one of those people who hang their marriage licenses on the wall for all to see, it’s hidden away in our safe so as to not get damaged or lost. But, I know exactly where it is, and what it means.

This marriage license article is a guest article for Weddings By The Sea.

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